Content Creation With WordPress: 4 Essential Plugins

Content Creation With WordPress: 4 Essential Plugins

Is content creation wearing you down? Blogs are voracious. You need to feed the beast constantly. Luckily there are tools which can help, especially if you’re a WordPress blogger. Here are my four essential “content” plugins.

A word to the wise: add plugins one at a time, and don’t add too many. Delete any plugins you’re not using.

1. (free) Editorial Calendar: Know What You’re Publishing and When.

Editorial Calendar
It’s Friday afternoon. You’re finishing up the week’s work. Suddenly you realize… you haven’t blogged this week. There’s nothing worse than realizing you’ve got to post something to your blog within the next hour.

WordPress Editorial Calendar saves your sanity. You’ll know exactly what you’re publishing, and when – no more last-minute panics. I love that I can see my draft posts all in one place.

2. (free) WordPress SEO by Yoast: It’s a Built-in Content Checklist.

WordPress SEO by Yoast

The basics of search engine optimization (SEO) are easy enough. However, keeping them in mind when you’re fiddling around with headlines, graphics and fact checking is hard. WordPress SEO by Yoast ensures that you don’t forget optimization.

It functions as an easy checklist. You can see what a post is missing at a glance. You can even choose to hide posts and pages from the search engines, if you wish.

3. (free) Related Posts by Zemanta: the Easy Way to Add Related Posts and Images.

Related Posts
Call me shallow, but I like Related Posts by Zemanta because it makes your “related posts” look pretty. I’ve tried lots of related post plugins; Zemanta’s gets the most clickthroughs. You can see it on my Just Write a Book Blog, in the image above.

4. (free) Edit Flow: Easier Collaboration With WordPress.

Edit Flow

If you’re working on a blog with others, corralling content is frustrating, to say the least. Edit Flow makes it easy. Not only do you get a content calendar, you also get custom statuses. As content moves through the editorial process, you can change statuses with just a couple of clicks. Users can not only pitch content, but can also see which posts are in progress, and which are ready for editorial review.

So there you have it. My essential WordPress content creation plugins. If you need WordPress to do something for you, chances are that someone, somewhere has created a plugin to do it. Have fun with WordPress. :-)

, and on Twitter: @angee.

You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.

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Savvy WordPress Blogger? Get Ready To Fall In Love With The Barley For WordPress Plugin

Savvy WordPress Blogger? Get Ready To Fall In Love With The Barley For WordPress Plugin

I love WordPress blogging, but like most bloggers, I wish it were easier. That’s not to say that WordPress is hard once you’re used to it, but I have many blogs. The minutes you spend dithering around with the post editor mount up.

I’ve long wished I could just create a post and have it instantly appear on a blog. Another fervent wish: to be able to edit an older post, in place… right on the webpage, so I could do more with my archives.

Here’s what inspired those two wishes: my intense jealousy of Barley. Barley’s an impressive Web editor because you can create and make changes to pages, right on the page. No saving or fiddling necessary.

The green-eyed monster’s gone. The Barley people have created the Barley for WordPress plugin.

Let’s see how it works.

1. Add a new blog post in your chosen format.

I’m using Barley for WordPress on my Just Write a Book Blog. The plugin installs in the usual way. Once you’ve activated it, you’ll need to add your license key, and then you’re good to go.

Here’s where it gets fun. Forget about the dashboard. Just click the New button on the toolbar, and choose the format you want. I’m using the default WordPress Twenty Thirteen theme on this blog; it has a great range of post formats.

Add a new post

Choose your post format from the toolbar

2. Start typing: delete the placeholder text, and go.

Your new post is loaded with placeholder text. Highlight and delete the post title’s placeholder text, and type your post’s title.

Just start typing

Just start typing

Notice the little tag icon? Click it to choose a category, add tags, and a featured image.

(SEO maven? Publish your post, and then edit the post later to add a page title, description and keywords.)

3. To add headings or a link, select some text.

Adding headings or a link is easy, just select some text.

Select text to add a link

Choose an icon from the formatting box

The star icon lets you add headings, quotes, and code. If you want basic formatting, click the edit icon. The link icon lets you add a link.

4. Want to add HTML or an image? Easy

It’s simple to add items such as images, video and code. Just click the “+” button.

Adding images is easy

Click the plus button to insert items

5. Click Publish on the toolbar when you’re done.

Is your post ready? Click the Publish button on the toolbar.

Want to update an older post? Freaky…

If you want to update an older post, you’ll freak the first time you do it. (I did.)

Just start making changes, right on the webpage: delete paragraphs, or add them. Add images, and links.

Update an older post

Updating an older post? Just make any changes you want

The changes stick. There’s no “update this post” or “save” button. The first time I updated a post, I couldn’t believe that the changes were saved. (They were.)

This is a huge timesaver. If you’re been putting off going through your archives because it’s such a pain, you’ll love the Barley for WordPress plugin.

Because I have a lot of blogs – my own, as well as clients’ blogs – I’m always looking for better workflows. Anything which saves time and energy gets a huge thumbs-up from me. After using the Barley for WordPress plugin for a few hours, I’ll be adding it to all my blogs, and client blogs as well.

At the introductory price of $12 for 12 months of use, it’s a bargain. By the way, a disclaimer; I have no connection to the Barley people (kudos to them!) I simply like this plugin. You may too.

 Want to kick your blogging up a notch?

Love the idea of a four-hour workweek? You can make it so. Become a part-time, or full-time blogger. It’s fun, and once you have a method, it doesn’t take much time.

, and on Twitter: @angee

Hacked WordPress Blogs and What to Do About It

Hacked Blog

I have many, many WordPress blogs. Before WordPress, I used several other blogging platforms.

Although I still use these other platforms, WordPress is my favorite. If I want to create a site, my brain defaults to WordPress.

This means that I’m NOT thrilled that WordPress has become a magnet for hackers. After going through several hacks, I thought I’d become blasé about it, but a hack still infuriates me.

Last night, when I noticed that the RSS feed to one of my blogs had vanished, I tried to access the blog. However, all that appeared was a “password” dialogue box. Oh geez, give me strength… ANOTHER expletive deleted HACK.

Normally it wouldn’t be a problem. However, my blog technician’s on vacation, so I had to find someone else.

I did, on fiver — all fixed.

You’d be amazed at what you can find on Fiverr.

I thought this was cute:

Fiverr

The problem with my WordPress blog turned out to be the Jetpack plugin, which contains many other plugins. One had a vulnerability, and some smarty took advantage of that.

What to do if your WordPress blog is hacked

If you’re anything like me, you’ll panic. Don’t do that, it’s not necessary. Your blog can be fixed, often it’s something very simple. My first option is always to get someone else to fix it, I’m a writer, not a technician.

You’ll find some solutions online. Do a Google search for whatever the problem seems to be.

For example, if suddenly your WordPress site comes up as someone else’s site (often a porn site) it can mean that your .htaccess file was hacked. TellingDad has a fix.

Once you’ve fixed the problem, Savvy Scot has some great advice for keeping your WordPress blog safe:

Firstly, I would recommend that you turn off the feature that users can automatically register in WordPress. This is something that I had turned off originally, but after updating WordPress, it must have reverted to allow this. Consequently, I had about 180 ‘subscribers’ register with bogus email addresses. I am sure that there is some sort of vulnerability in WordPress where this might allow users to gain access to a subdirectory of the WP-INCLUDES folder.

So, in summary, if you get hacked, try to relax; it will be OK. Your blog will be fine. Try to fix it yourself if you can, if you can’t there are people who can help.

Happy blogging… :-)

And I should add — if you need help with your blogging, you can contact me and tell me what you need. Or just contact me to chat, either on Twitter — @angee — or on Google+. If you dislike social media, send me an email message.

photo credit: drakegoodman via photopin cc